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Selection: with tag droughts [130 articles] 


The exceptionally hot summer of 2007 in Athens, Greece — A typical summer in the future climate?

Global and Planetary Change, Vol. 67, No. 3-4. (June 2009), pp. 227-236,


Summer 2007 was abnormally warm for many areas of southeastern Europe, the Balkan peninsula and parts of Asia Minor with departures from the seasonal means exceeding 4 °C in some areas but also distinct periods of extremely hot weather. Greece experienced very likely the warmest summer of its instrumental history with record breaking temperatures being observed at a number of stations. The historical air temperature record of the National Observatory of Athens (NOA), extending back to the 19th century, was used in ...


Shifts in community-level traits and functional diversity in a mixed conifer forest: a legacy of land-use change

Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol. 53, No. 6. (December 2016), pp. 1755-1765,


[Summary] [::1] Historical reference conditions have long been used to guide the restoration of degraded ecosystems. However, a rapidly changing climate and altered disturbance regimes are calling into question the usefulness of this approach. As a consequence, restoration goals are increasingly focused on creating communities that are resilient to novel environmental stressors and emphasis is being placed on defining functional targets through the use of plant traits. While changes in forest structure and composition have received much attention, long-term changes in stand-level ...


A new kind of drought: US record low windiness in 2015

IEEE Earthzine, Vol. 9 (2016), 1412470


Widespread calming of the wind sapped U.S. wind energy power output in 2015, driven by the same weather patterns responsible for California’s severe drought. [Excerpt: Summary and conclusions] 2015 was a year of records: [::] It was the warmest year on record globally. [::] A highly anomalous ocean warming event in the northeast Pacific (NPM) strongly controlled the weather and climate over North America. [::] A high amplitude ridge of unparalleled strength and longevity over western North America dominated until April 2015. [::] Record low ...


Fire regime changes in the Western Mediterranean Basin: from fuel-limited to drought-driven fire regime

Climatic Change In Climatic Change, Vol. 110, No. 1-2. (1 January 2012), pp. 215-226,


Wildfires are an integral part of Mediterranean ecosystems; humans impact on landscapes imply changes in fuel amount and continuity, and thus in fire regime. We tested the hypothesis that fire regime changed in western Mediterranean Basin during the last century using time series techniques. We first compiled a 130-year fire history for the Valencia province (Spain, Eastern Iberian Peninsula, Western Mediterranean Basin) from contemporary statistics plus old forest administration dossiers and newspapers. We also compiled census on rural population and climatic ...


Ecological stability of mixed-species forests

In Mixed-Species Forests (2017), pp. 337-382,


In many parts of the world, forests are likely to face novel disturbance regimes as a result of global change processes, and there is concern that the capacity of forest ecosystems to withstand, recover from, or adapt to these novel disturbance regimes may decline. Creation and maintenance of species-diverse forests is seen as an important option to adapt forests to uncertain future disturbances. However, it is not known whether benefits of mixed-species forests consist mainly of risk spreading among tree species ...


Scientific opinion on the pest categorisation of Cryphonectria parasitica (Murrill) Barr

EFSA Journal, Vol. 12, No. 10. (1 October 2014), pp. n/a-n/a,


The European Commission requested the EFSA Panel on Plant Health to perform a pest categorisation of Cryphonectria parasitica (Murrill) Barr, the fungal pathogen responsible for chestnut blight, a highly destructive disease that kills trees through bark cankers. The pathogen is listed in Annex IIAII of Directive 2000/29/EC. Its identity is clearly defined as C.parasitica (Murrill) Barr and methods exist for its discriminative detection. Several hosts are known, but the main hosts are species of Castanea and Quercus, particularly C.sativa and Q.petraea. ...


  1. Adamcikova, K., Kobza, M., Juhasova, G., 2010. Characteristics of the Cryphonectria parasitica isolated from Quercus in Slovakia. Forest Pathology 40, 443–449.
  2. Adamcikova, K., Juhasova, G., Kobza, M., Ondruskova, E., 2013. Diversity of microfungi on branches of Castanea sativa in Slovakia. Polish Botanical Journal 58, 741–746.
  3. Aguín Casal, O., Montenegro Gregorio, D., Pérez Otero, R., Mansilla Vázquez, J.P., 2005. VI Congreso Forestal Español, Zaragoza 2005. Available online: .

Mechanisms of plant survival and mortality during drought: why do some plants survive while others succumb to drought?

New Phytologist, Vol. 178, No. 4. (1 June 2008), pp. 719-739,


Severe droughts have been associated with regional-scale forest mortality worldwide. Climate change is expected to exacerbate regional mortality events; however, prediction remains difficult because the physiological mechanisms underlying drought survival and mortality are poorly understood. We developed a hydraulically based theory considering carbon balance and insect resistance that allowed development and examination of hypotheses regarding survival and mortality. Multiple mechanisms may cause mortality during drought. A common mechanism for plants with isohydric regulation of water status results from avoidance of drought-induced ...


Oak decline as illustrated through plant–climate interactions near the northern edge of species range

The Botanical Review, Vol. 82, No. 1. (2016), pp. 1-23,


This paper investigates historical growth and climate records among the oak sites representing the northern edge of species range in northernmost Europe (Finland). This is to characterize plant–climate interactions for a multitude of sites where oak decline has recently been observed and understand this most recent decline in the context of the past decline studies elsewhere. Further, our paper demonstrates the procedures the tree-ring data can be used in isolating those factors significantly contributing to decline. Our findings point towards complex ...


Climate-driven tree mortality: insights from the piñon pine die-off in the United States

New Phytologist, Vol. 200, No. 2. (October 2013), pp. 301-303,


The global climate is changing, and a range of negative effects on plants has already been observed and will likely continue into the future. One of the most apparent consequences of climate change is widespread tree mortality (Fig. 1). Extensive tree die-offs resulting from recent climate change have been documented across a range of forest types on all forested continents (Allen et al., 2010). The exact physiological mechanisms causing this mortality are not yet well understood (e.g. McDowell, 2011), but they ...


Trends in extreme weather and climate events: issues related to modeling extremes in projections of future climate change

Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Vol. 81, No. 3. (1 March 2000), pp. 427-436,<0427:tiewac>;2


Projections of statistical aspects of weather and climate extremes can be derived from climate models representing possible future climate states. Some of the recent models have reproduced results previously reported in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Second Assessment Report, such as a greater frequency of extreme warm days and lower frequency of extreme cold days associated with a warmer mean climate, a decrease in diurnal temperature range associated with higher nighttime temperatures, increased precipitation intensity, midcontinent summer drying, decreasing ...


Climate extremes: observations, modeling, and impacts

Science In Science, Vol. 289, No. 5487. (22 September 2000), pp. 2068-2074,


One of the major concerns with a potential change in climate is that an increase in extreme events will occur. Results of observational studies suggest that in many areas that have been analyzed, changes in total precipitation are amplified at the tails, and changes in some temperature extremes have been observed. Model output has been analyzed that shows changes in extreme events for future climates, such as increases in extreme high temperatures, decreases in extreme low temperatures, and increases in intense ...


A multiscalar drought index sensitive to global warming: the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index

Journal of Climate In Journal of Climate, Vol. 23, No. 7. (19 November 2009), pp. 1696-1718,


The authors propose a new climatic drought index: the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI). The SPEI is based on precipitation and temperature data, and it has the advantage of combining multiscalar character with the capacity to include the effects of temperature variability on drought assessment. The procedure to calculate the index is detailed and involves a climatic water balance, the accumulation of deficit/surplus at different time scales, and adjustment to a log-logistic probability distribution. Mathematically, the SPEI is similar to the ...


Projecting future drought in Mediterranean forests: bias correction of climate models matters!

Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Vol. 117, No. 1-2. (2014), pp. 113-122,


Global and regional climate models (GCM and RCM) are generally biased and cannot be used as forcing variables in ecological impact models without some form of prior bias correction. In this study, we investigated the influence of the bias correction method on drought projections in Mediterranean forests in southern France for the end of the twenty-first century (2071–2100). We used a water balance model with two different atmospheric climate forcings built from the same RCM simulations but using two different correction ...


On the key role of droughts in the dynamics of summer fires in Mediterranean Europe

Scientific Reports, Vol. 7, No. 1. (6 March 2017), 81,


Summer fires frequently rage across Mediterranean Europe, often intensified by high temperatures and droughts. According to the state-of-the-art regional fire risk projections, in forthcoming decades climate effects are expected to become stronger and possibly overcome fire prevention efforts. However, significant uncertainties exist and the direct effect of climate change in regulating fuel moisture (e.g. warmer conditions increasing fuel dryness) could be counterbalanced by the indirect effects on fuel structure (e.g. warmer conditions limiting fuel amount), affecting the transition between climate-driven and ...


Forest disturbances under climate change

Nature Climate Change, Vol. 7, No. 6. (31 May 2017), pp. 395-402,


Forest disturbances are sensitive to climate. However, our understanding of disturbance dynamics in response to climatic changes remains incomplete, particularly regarding large-scale patterns, interaction effects and dampening feedbacks. Here we provide a global synthesis of climate change effects on important abiotic (fire, drought, wind, snow and ice) and biotic (insects and pathogens) disturbance agents. Warmer and drier conditions particularly facilitate fire, drought and insect disturbances, while warmer and wetter conditions increase disturbances from wind and pathogens. Widespread interactions between agents are ...


Silver fir defoliation likelihood is related to negative growth trends and high warming sensitivity at their southernmost distribution limit

ISRN Forestry, Vol. 2012 (2012), pp. 1-8,


Changes in radial growth have been used to estimate tree decline probability since they may indicate tree responses to long- and short-term stressors. We used visual assessments of crown defoliation, an indicator of decline, and retrospective tree-ring analyses to determine whether climate-growth sensitivity and tree growth rates may be used as predictors of tree die-off probability in Abies alba (silver fir) at the Spanish Pyrenees. We used climatic data to calculate standardized temperature and precipitation data and drought indexes. Basal area ...


Annex III: glossary

In Climate Change 2013: the physical science basis - Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2013), pp. 1447-1465


[Excerpt] This glossary defines some specific terms as the Lead Authors intend them to be interpreted in the context of this report. Red, italicized words indicate that the term is defined in the Glossary. [\n] [...] ...


Meteorological droughts in Europe: events and impacts - Past trends and future projections



[Excerpt: Executive Summary] Observational records from 1950 onwards and climate projections for the 21st century provide evidence that droughts are a recurrent climate feature in large parts of Europe, especially in the Mediterranean, but also in western, south-eastern and central Europe. Trends over the past 60 years show an increasing frequency, duration and intensity of droughts in these regions, while a negative trend has been observed in north-eastern Europe. With a changing climate, this tendency is likely to be reinforced during the 21st century, affecting a wide range of ...


Managing alpine forests in a changing climate

In Management Strategies to Adapt Alpine Space Forests to Climate Change Risks (28 August 2013), pp. 369-383,
edited by Gillian Cerbu


[Excerpt: Introduction] There is mounting evidence that Alpine forest ecosystems will not be able to fully absorb the changes in site factors associated with climate change, such as higher temperatures, more intensive drought stress and associated biotic impacts since these changes exceed the adaptive capacity of the trees. The projected changes in temperature by 2.2 to 5.1 K from 1980 to 1999 to 2080 to 2099, for the A1B scenario in southern Europe [1], correspond to an altitudinal shift of 300 to ...

Visual summary


A review of the combination among global change factors in forests, shrublands and pastures of the Mediterranean Region: beyond drought effects

Global and Planetary Change, Vol. 148 (January 2017), pp. 42-54,


[Highlights] [::] Different global change factors combine causing unprecedented ecological effects. [::] Much more complex interactions arise when combinations occur together. [::] Drought should be considered when designing and applying management policies. [::] Conserving Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems is a collective effort. [Abstract] Climate change, alteration of atmospheric composition, land abandonment in some areas and land use intensification in others, wildfires and biological invasions threaten forests, shrublands and pastures all over the world. However, the impacts of the combinations between global change factors are not well understood despite ...


Terrestrial ecosystems, soil and forests

In Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016 - An indicator-based report, Vol. 1/2017 (January 2017), pp. 153-182,


[Excerpt: Key messages] [::] Observed climate change has had many impacts on terrestrial ecosystems, such as changes in soil conditions, advances in phenological stages, altitudinal and latitudinal migration of plant and animal species (generally northwards and upwards), and changes in species interactions and species composition in communities, including local extinctions. [::] The relative importance of climate change as a major driver of biodiversity and ecosystem change is projected to increase further in the future. In addition to climate change, human efforts to mitigate and adapt to ...


  1. Alkemade, R., Bakkenes, M., Eickhout, B., 2011. Towards a general relationship between climate change and biodiversity: An example for plant species in Europe. Regional Environmental Change 11, 143–150. .
  2. Allen, C. D., Macalady, A. K., Chenchouni, H., Bachelet, D., McDowell, N., Vennetier, M., Kitzberger, T., Rigling, A., Breshears, D. D., Hogg, E. H. (Ted), Gonzalez, P., Fensham, R., Zhang, Z., Castro, J., Demidova, N., Lim, J.-H., Allard, G., Running, S. W., Semerci, A.,

Executive summary

In Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016 - An indicator-based report, Vol. 1/2017 (January 2017), pp. 12-30,


[Excerpt: Key messages] [::] All of the key findings from the 2012 European Environment Agency (EEA) report on climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe are still valid. [::] Climate change is continuing globally and in Europe. Land and sea temperatures are increasing; precipitation patterns are changing, generally making wet regions in Europe wetter, particularly in winter, and dry regions drier, particularly in summer; sea ice extent, glacier volume and snow cover are decreasing; sea levels are rising; and climate-related extremes such as heat waves, heavy precipitation ...


  1. Ciscar, J.-C., Feyen, L., Soria, A., Lavalle, C., Raes, F., Perry, M., Nemry, F., Demirel, H., Rozsai, M., Dosio, A., Donatelli, M., Srivastava, A. K., Fumagalli, D., Niemeyer, S., Shrestha, S., Ciaian, P., Himics, M., Van Doorslaer, B., Barrios, S., Ibáñez, N., Forzieri, G., Rojas, R., Bianchi, A., Dowling, P., Camia, A., Libertà, G., San-Miguel-Ayanz, J., de Rigo, D., Caudullo, G., Barredo, J. I., Paci, D., Pycroft, J., Saveyn, B., Van Regemorter, D., Revesz, T., Vandyck, T.,

Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016 - An indicator-based report

Vol. 1/2017 (January 2017),


[Excerpt: Executive summary] Key messages [::] All of the key findings from the 2012 European Environment Agency (EEA) report on climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe are still valid. [::] Climate change is continuing globally and in Europe. Land and sea temperatures are increasing; precipitation patterns are changing, generally making wet regions in Europe wetter, particularly in winter, and dry regions drier, particularly in summer; sea ice extent, glacier volume and snow cover are decreasing; sea levels are rising; and climate-related extremes such as heat waves, heavy ...


Role of geographical provenance in the response of silver fir seedlings to experimental warming and drought

Tree Physiology, Vol. 36, No. 10. (October 2016), pp. 1236-1246,


Changes in climate can alter the distribution and population dynamics of tree species by altering their recruitment patterns, especially at range edges. However, geographical patterns of genetic diversity could buffer the negative consequences of changing climate at rear range edges where populations might also harbour individuals with drought-adapted genotypes. Silver fir ( Abies alba Mill.) reaches its south-western distribution limit in the Spanish Pyrenees, where recent climatic dieback events have disproportionately affected westernmost populations. We hypothesized that silver fir populations from ...


Climate-induced forest dieback: an escalating global phenomenon?

Unasylva, Vol. 60, No. 231-232. (2009), pp. 43-49


Forests, which today cover 30 percent of the world’s land surface (FAO, 2006), are being rapidly and directly transformed in many areas by the impacts of expanding human populations and economies. Less evident are the pervasive effects of ongoing climatic changes on the condition and status of forests around the world. Recent examples of drought and heat-related forest stress and dieback (defined here as tree mortality noticeably above usual mortality levels) are being documented from all forested continents, making it possible ...


Climate Change 2007: the physical science basis - Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change



[Excerpt: Preface] This Working Group I contribution to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) provides a comprehensive assessment of the physical science of climate change and continues to broaden the view of that science, following on from previous Working Group I assessments. The results presented here are based on the extensive scientific literature that has become available since completion of the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report, together with expanded data sets, new analyses, and more sophisticated climate modelling capabilities. [\n] This report has been prepared in accordance with rules and procedures ...


Introduced or native tree species to maintain forest ecosystem services in a hotter and drier future?

In Introduced tree species in European forests: opportunities and challenges (2016), pp. 236-246


[Excerpt] Climate change might profoundly alter patterns and processes in forest ecosystems that have consequences on the biogeochemical cycling, biodiversity and productivity (e.g. Lindner et al. 2014). Temperature- and drought-related changes have been identified as important triggers of forest decline and vegetation shifts worldwide (Allen et al. 2010). In Europe, several native tree species such as Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) are showing increased sensitivities to recent increases in temperature and extreme droughts resulting ...


  1. Allen, C.D., Macalady, A., Chenchouni, H., Bachelet, D., McDowell, N., Vennetier, M., Gonzales, P., Hogg, T., Rigling, A., Breshears, D.D., Fensham, R., Zhang, Z., Kitzberger, T., Lim, J.-H., Castro, J., Allard, G., Running, S.W., Semerci, A., Cobb, N., 2010. A global overview of drought and heat-induced mortality reveals emerging climate change risks for forests. Forest Ecology and Management 259, 660–684. .
  2. Allen, C.D., Breshears, D.D., McDowell, N.G., 2015. On underestimation of global vulnerability

How drought-induced forest die-off alters microclimate and increases fuel loadings and fire potentials

International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 25, No. 8. (2016), 819,


Forest die-offs associated with drought and heat have recently occurred across the globe, raising concern that associated changes in fuels and microclimate could link initial die-off disturbance to subsequent fire disturbance. Despite widespread concern, little empirical data exist. Following forest die-off in the Northern Jarrah Forest, south-western Australia, we quantified fuel dynamics and associated microclimate for die-off and control plots. Sixteen months post die-off, die-off plots had significantly increased 1-h fuels (11.8 vs 9.8 tonnes ha–1) but not larger fuel classes ...


Hydrological impact of forest fires and climate change in a Mediterranean basin

Natural Hazards, Vol. 66, No. 2. (2013), pp. 609-628,


Forest fire can modify and accelerate the hydrological response of Mediterranean basins submitted to intense rainfall: during the years following a fire, the effects on the hydrological response may be similar to those produced by the growth of impervious areas. Moreover, climate change and global warming in Mediterranean areas can imply consequences on both flash flood and fire hazards, by amplifying these phenomena. Based on historical events and post-fire experience, a methodology to interpret the impacts of forest fire in terms ...


Risk of multiple interacting tipping points should encourage rapid CO2 emission reduction

Nature Climate Change, Vol. 6, No. 5. (21 March 2016), pp. 520-525,


Evidence suggests that several elements of the climate system could be tipped into a different state by global warming, causing irreversible economic damages. To address their policy implications, we incorporated five interacting climate tipping points into a stochastic-dynamic integrated assessment model, calibrating their likelihoods and interactions on results from an existing expert elicitation. Here we show that combining realistic assumptions about policymakers’ preferences under uncertainty, with the prospect of multiple future interacting climate tipping points, increases the present social cost of ...


Disturbance and the carbon balance of US forests: a quantitative review of impacts from harvests, fires, insects, and droughts

Global and Planetary Change, Vol. 143 (August 2016), pp. 66-80,


[Highlights] [::] Available data suggest harvest is the leading disturbance impact on C in US forests then fire, windthrow, insects, and droughts. [::] Disturbances in US forests lead to the loss of at least 200 Tg C in live biomass each year on average. [::] Regrowth roughly balances disturbance emissions, with growth enhancements contributing significantly to the net change in forest carbon. [::] Natural disturbance events are likely to rise in the future, leading to net release of forest carbon. [Abstract] Disturbances are a major determinant of ...


Darcy's law predicts widespread forest mortality under climate warming

Nature Climate Change, Vol. 5, No. 7. (18 May 2015), pp. 669-672,


Nature Climate Change | Letter Print Share/bookmark Darcy's law predicts widespread forest mortality under climate warming Nathan G. McDowell & Craig D. Allen Affiliations Contributions Corresponding author Nature Climate Change 5, 669–672 (2015) Received 23 July 2014 Accepted 07 April ...


Ground-truthing the Drought Code: field verification of overwinter recharge of forest floor moisture

Vol. 268 (1996)


[Excerpt:Executive summary] Users of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index System are required to precede computation of the Drought Code (DC) component each spring by first calculating a mathematical model of overwinter recharge of moisture in the forest floor. Practical limitations of the mathematical model, required for operational simplicity, have resulted in requests from users for a field sampling procedure that can be used to verify the model, where, and when desired. [\n] This report describes a standard procedure for destructively sampling ...


Relating changes in duff moisture to the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index System in Populus tremuloides stands in Elk Island National Park

Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 37, No. 10. (1 October 2007), pp. 1987-1998


The manner in which trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) forest duff moisture changes during the growing season was investigated in Elk Island National Park, Alberta, Canada. A calibration–validation procedure incorporating one calibration site with moisture sampling across three topographic positions was used to develop predictive models, which were subsequently compared with 12 validation sites across three vegetation types throughout the Park. Duff moisture was modelled against the Duff Moisture Code and Drought Code components of the Canadian Forest Fire Weather Index ...


A study of the relation of meteorological variables to monthly provincial area burned by wildfire in Canada (1953-80)

Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, Vol. 27, No. 4. (1 April 1988), pp. 441-452,<0441:asotro>;2


The relation between meteorological variables and the monthly area burned by wildfire from May to August 1953–80 in nine Canadian “provinces” was investigated. A purely statistical approach to estimating the monthly provincial area burned, using meteorological variables as predictors, succeeded in explaining 30% of the variance west of Lake Nipigon and about 11% east of Lake Nipigon. [\n] Long sequences of days with less than 1.5 mm of rain or days with relative humidities less than 60% proved to have the highest ...


Forecasting the outbreak of moorland wildfires in the English Peak District

Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 90, No. 8. (25 June 2009), pp. 2642-2651,


Warmer, drier summers brought by climate change increase the potential risk of wildfires on the moorland of the Peak District of northern England. Fires are costly to fight, damage the ecosystem, harm water catchments, cause erosion scars and disrupt transport. Fires release carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Accurate forecasts of the timing of fires help deployment of fire fighting resources. A probit model is used to assess the chance of fires at different times of the year, days of the week ...


Increasing daily wildfire risk in the Acadian Forest Region of Nova Scotia, Canada, under future climate change

Regional Environmental Change, Vol. 15, No. 7. (2015), pp. 1447-1459,


A conceptual system dynamic model of the impact of future climate change on fire risk in the Nova Scotian Acadian Forest Region (NS AFR) was developed, clarifying the influence of positive and negative drivers of future fire risk. Weights of relative importance for seven wildfire risk drivers identified in the conceptual model were elicited through an analytical hierarchy process. Expert participants identified precipitation, temperature, and local tree species composition as the most important determinants of future fire risk. Fire weather variables ...


Climate change presents increased potential for very large fires in the contiguous United States

International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol. 24, No. 7. (2015), pp. 892-899,


Very large fires (VLFs) have important implications for communities, ecosystems, air quality and fire suppression expenditures. VLFs over the contiguous US have been strongly linked with meteorological and climatological variability. Building on prior modelling of VLFs (>5000 ha), an ensemble of 17 global climate models were statistically downscaled over the US for climate experiments covering the historic and mid-21st-century periods to estimate potential changes in VLF occurrence arising from anthropogenic climate change. Increased VLF potential was projected across most historically fire-prone ...


Impact of anthropogenic climate change on wildfire across western US forests

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (10 October 2016), 201607171,


[Significance] Increased forest fire activity across the western United States in recent decades has contributed to widespread forest mortality, carbon emissions, periods of degraded air quality, and substantial fire suppression expenditures. Although numerous factors aided the recent rise in fire activity, observed warming and drying have significantly increased fire-season fuel aridity, fostering a more favorable fire environment across forested systems. We demonstrate that human-caused climate change caused over half of the documented increases in fuel aridity since the 1970s and doubled the ...


Landscape genomics and a common garden trial reveal adaptive differentiation to temperature across Europe in the tree species Alnus glutinosa

Molecular Ecology, Vol. 23, No. 19. (1 October 2014), pp. 4709-4721,


The adaptive potential of tree species to cope with climate change has important ecological and economic implications. Many temperate tree species experience a wide range of environmental conditions, suggesting high adaptability to new environmental conditions. We investigated adaptation to regional climate in the drought-sensitive tree species Alnus glutinosa (Black alder), using a complementary approach that integrates genomic, phenotypic and landscape data. A total of 24 European populations were studied in a common garden and through landscape genomic approaches. Genotyping-by-sequencing was used ...


Natural hazards monitoring: forest fires, droughts and floods - The example of European pilot projects

Surveys in Geophysics, Vol. 21, No. 2-3. (2000), pp. 291-305,


This paper reviews the subject of natural hazards and the use of existing remote sensing systems in the different phases of disaster management for some specific natural hazards: forest fires, droughts and floods. It centers on the applicability of remote sensing for increasing preparedness, providing early warnings, monitoring the hazards in real time, and assessing the damage so that relief can be provided. Comparison of the information provided by existing systems and that needed for operational use of remote sensing in ...


Impacts of natural disasters in agriculture, rangeland and forestry: an overview

In Natural Disasters and Extreme Events in Agriculture (2005), pp. 1-22,


Natural disasters play a major role in agricultural development and the economic cost associated with all natural disasters has increased 14 fold since the 1950s. Natural disasters are classified into hydro-meteorological and geophysical disasters. Definitions of various types of hydrometeorological disasters such as floods, droughts, cyclones, forest fires, heatwaves were presented. Evidence available from different parts of the world showed that there is a rising trend in the occurrence of natural disasters from 1993 to 2002. Impacts of droughts, cyclones, floods, ...


Climate change and the eco-hydrology of fire: will area burned increase in a warming western U.S.?

Ecological Applications (August 2016),


Wildfire area is predicted to increase with global warming. Empirical statistical models and process-based simulations agree almost universally. The key relationship for this unanimity, observed at multiple spatial and temporal scales, is between drought and fire. Predictive models often focus on ecosystems in which this relationship appears to be particularly strong, such as mesic and arid forests and shrublands with substantial biomass such as chaparral. We examine the drought-fire relationship, specifically the correlations between water-balance deficit and annual area burned, across ...


Increased wind erosion from forest wildfire: implications for contaminant-related risks

Journal of Environment Quality, Vol. 35, No. 2. (2 February 2006), pp. 468-478,


Assessments of contaminant-related human and ecological risk require estimation of transport rates, but few data exist on wind-driven transport rates in nonagricultural systems, particularly in response to ecosystem disturbances such as forest wildfire and also relative to water-driven transport. The Cerro Grande wildfire in May of 2000 burned across ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex P.&C. Lawson var. scopulorum Englem.) forest within Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico, where contaminant transport and associated post-fire inhalation risks are of concern. ...


Plant responses to increasing CO2 reduce estimates of climate impacts on drought severity

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, No. 36. (06 September 2016), pp. 10019-10024,


[Significance] We show that the water savings that plants experience under high CO2 conditions compensate for much of the effect of warmer temperatures, keeping the amount of water on land, on average, higher than we would predict with common drought metrics, and with a different spatial pattern. The implications of plants needing less water under high CO2 reaches beyond drought prediction to the assessment of climate change impacts on agriculture, water resources, wildfire risk, and vegetation dynamics. [Abstract] Rising atmospheric CO2 will make Earth ...


Indonesian fire activity and smoke pollution in 2015 show persistent nonlinear sensitivity to El Niño-induced drought

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, No. 33. (16 August 2016), pp. 9204-9209,


[Significance] The 2015 Indonesian fire season, in terms of fire activity and pollution, was the most severe since the NASA Earth Observing satellite system began observations in the early 2000s. Our estimates show that the 2015 CO2-equivalent biomass burning emissions for all of Indonesia were between the 2013 annual fossil fuel CO2 emissions of Japan and India. Longer-term records of airport visibility in Sumatra and Kalimantan show that 2015 ranked among the worst episodes on record. Analysis of dry season rainfall shows ...


World drought frequency, duration, and severity for 1951-2010

International Journal of Climatology, Vol. 34, No. 8. (June 2014), pp. 2792-2804,


In the context of climate change characterized by rising temperature and more extreme precipitation regimes, drought is one of the most relevant natural disasters. This paper presents maps of global drought frequency, duration, and severity for the periods 1951–1970, 1971–1990, and 1991–2010, to give an overview of the respective drought hot spots. Drought frequency is defined as the number of drought events occurred, drought duration as the number of months in drought conditions, and drought severity as the sum of the ...


Forest Service survey finds record 66 million dead trees in Southern Sierra Nevada

(June 2016)


[Excerpt] The U.S. Forest Service today announced that it has identified an additional 26 million trees dead in California since October 2015. These trees are located in six counties across 760,000 acres in the southern Sierra Nevada region of the state, and are in addition to the 40 million trees that died statewide from 2010 to October 2015, bringing the total to at least 66 million dead trees. Four consecutive years of severe drought in California, a dramatic rise in bark ...


Evidences of drought stress as a predisposing factor to Scots pine decline in Valle d’Aosta (Italy)

European Journal of Forest Research In European Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 131, No. 4. (25 October 2012), pp. 989-1000,


Scots pine ( Pinus sylvestris L.) forests of many inner Alpine valleys have recently displayed a quick loss of vitality. A decline disease has been suggested as the cause, with drought as the main predisposing factor and the additional contribution of biotic agents inciting tree dieback. This study is focused on Valle d’Aosta, a dry, inner-Alpine region in NW Italy. We inferred vitality changes between years 2000 and 2007 by computing reductions in enhanced vegetation index (EVI). Image differencing was carried ...


Homogenization in forest performance across an environmental gradient – The interplay between rainfall and topographic aspect

Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 310 (December 2013), pp. 256-266,


[Highlights] [::] Large- and small-scale factors interact in their effect on forest performance. [::] Performance homogenization across habitats was linearly related to rainfall. [::] Homogenization was associated with drought conditions, both in time and space. [Abstract] This study aimed to investigate the interaction between local and regional environmental factors that affect forest performance during drought periods. In previous studies, contradictory results regarding the effect of aspect on forests performance, under different settings, were reported. However, each study focused on a different forest ecosystem at a different ...

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